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VEEDICT OX INDIA
blood, and the eastern ports would have fallen to the Japanese.
Hardly anybody said -thank you ' to Linlithgow. The Congress
hated him because he was a realist, and he disdained to use the
glib patter which might have endeared him to the liberal elements
in England. How ludicrous was the popular picture of the
Viceroy which is so often offered for our delectation— a peer on a
peacock throne, fanning himself while the people starve !
We come to shock number four.
I bat in my room at midnight, writing.
Outside, the jackals wailed and howled in weirdly human
tones. (If any film producer ever decides to shoot Dante's Inferno,
and finds himself in need of Lost Soul Noises, he would do well to
hire a pack of jackals; they go on losing their souls, with the
utmost gusto, all night long.)
I was trying to catch up with my diary. It was in a terrible
muddle, and looked like the ravings of a surrealist. Thus...
'Green parrots on the telephone wires, cannot get over ridicu-
lous feeling that they have escaped from cages. ..Peacock fans
at railway stations, young Indian told me that the reason God
gave the peacock its beautiful tail was to hide its ugly feet...
Talking of feet cannot get used to bare feet of Viceregal servants,
always afraid they will tread on drawing pins and create social
crisis...Who was the Maharajah who came to dinner to-night
and were those real pearls ? Something very touching about
drinking the health of the King Emperor.. .it certainly sounds
well..."The King Emperor," with the candlelight flashing on
the glasses and bringing out the lovely silver tints in the tuberoses
.. .Of course the flowers are exquisite but nobody in India seems
to have any idea how to arrange them and I cannot really approve
of this business of hanging chains of flowers round one's neck;
apart from the insects which crawl down one's back, hate to see
flowers dying on a string, want to unthread them all and put
them in water. ..Am learning Hindi faster than expected, and